The Bombay High Court, while dictating the verdict on appeal filed by Bollywood superstar Salman Khan against his conviction in the 2002 hit-and-run case, today referred to evidence relating to his drunken driving and said there were several anomalies in his version.
For the second day, Justice A R Joshi continued to deliver the judgement in the court on Salman’s appeal challenging the 5-year sentence imposed on him by a Mumbai sessions court.
The Judge referred to a series of lacunae right from extraction of blood samples to its transfer, preservation and testing to check the presence of alcohol.
The Judge observed that “anomalies” and “missing links” creates doubt over the crucial piece of biological evidence.
After the mishap, Salman was sent to civic-run Bhabha Hospital at Bandra, however, blood extraction facility was not available and Bandra police station’s senior inspector Kishan Shengal (PW-27) sent him to government-run JJ Hospital where the blood sample was collected by Dr Shashikant Pawar (PW-20).
The medical officer extracted the blood and it was subsequently analysed by Dattatraya Khobrajirao Bhalshankar (PW-18), the assistant chemical analyser (CA).
Justice Joshi, who is in the process of dictating the verdict, also noted the discrepancies in the examination of blood samples.
“PW-20 carried out clinical exam of the appellant (Salman)…He found smell of alcohol in his breath. Later, he drew his blood sample and put it in two vials, which was sealed by the ward boy. He had drawn 6 ml of blood and has put it in two vials, 3 ml in each of them, ultimately, what reached the CA was 4 ml of blood in one vial,” he noted.
“PW-20 gave one sealed envelope containing two forms – form A and form B and two vials….At police station; PW-21 (police constable) was given two sealed envelopes to be given to CA…He gives two envelopes to the receiving clerk of the FSL, who has not been examined in the court. PW-18 says one police constable gave him the blood samples…This is a missing link in the biological evidence,” the Judge noted.
Justice Joshi said, “…In fact, greater care could have been taken by the CA if his evidence has to be accepted as expert evidence and in order to place reliance, then the handling of samples at various stages from blood extraction to blood examination should have been proper.”